Tesco results back drive for international success

Tesco, Britain's top retailer, is to test new store-types overseas as it bids to power up the international league table.

Tesco will open its first Super Express store - larger than its traditional Express convenience shops - in Korea next year. Tesco will also open two 'compact' hypermarkets, measuring about 30,000 sq ft (2,790 sq m), in Slovakia. They will also be tested in Korea.

The grocer has been pleased with the success of two 50,000 sq ft (4,650 sq m) hypermarkets in Hungary and intends to roll out that format too.

Deputy chairman David Reid said that the development of smaller hypermarkets will enable Tesco to expand outside big cities to locations where it does not yet have a presence.

He said: 'We are market leader in six countries, but there is a lot of growth to come from adding new formats, as well as opening hypermarkets.'

According to researcher M+M Planet Retail, Tesco is the eighth-biggest international retailer, but is likely to make into the top five in the medium term. Wal-Mart and Carrefour hold the top two slots.

On Tuesday, Tesco posted a 17.4 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to£628 million for the 24 weeks to August 9. Group sales rose by 17 per cent to£14.9 billion.

In the UK, sales jumped by 14.2 per cent to£12 billion and like-for-like sales by 6.3 per cent. International sales leaped by 30 per cent to£3 billion.